18-year-old boy drowns in Gloucester quarry

GLOUCESTER, Mass. — An 18-year-old is dead after drowning in a quarry in Gloucester Wednesday afternoon.

“It’s never a good sign when they’re not coming back out of the woods for that amount of time,” said Micah Dean, who lives right by the wooded trail to Vernon’s Quarry off Hickory Street.

He saw first responders rush to the area Wednesday afternoon.

“Somebody would get injured once or twice a summer, they’d park the ambulance in my driveway,” said Dean. “Usually it’s a rope swing that’s in there that causes most of the issues.”

But this time Massachusetts State Police say an 18-year-old and his friend jumped off a high rock into the water, and the young man never came back up.

After two hours of searching the murky water, dive teams recovered the 18-year-old, but it was too late.

“I think that’s frustrating for them, but no doubt they put their lives on the line to make any attempt they could to recover this male,” said Gloucester Police Chief Edward Conley.

Chief Conley says first responders performed CPR on the young man, but he was pronounced dead at the hospital.

“You have to be cognizant of the risks of entering the water, especially here in the quarry area. This is not a place that is monitored by the city of Gloucester, we don’t have life guards here – this is a public area for people to hike in – it’s not really a designated swim area,” said Chief Conley.

Even though it’s a dangerous place to swim, a lot of people do it.

Dean says hundreds would come here in a day, especially during the pandemic when beaches were closed.

“My family has swam back there, but it seems a little that’s scary if that happened and I can’t explain why, then I don’t think we’ll be going back there any time soon,” said Dean.

Dean says after learning someone drowned there, his family might not swim there anymore.

“It seems a little bit more hazardous now, when you don’t have an explanation for why this person went in and didn’t come out,” said Dean.

Police say the victim who died is not from Gloucester, and the Essex County District Attorney will be investigating his death.

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